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John Locke (1632-1704) Chronology

  • 1632 Locke is born in Wrington, Somerset.
  • 1647 Locke is admitted to Westminster School.
  • 1649 Charles I is executed in London.
  • 1652 Locke enters Christ Church, Oxford.
  • 1656 Locke graduates as a Bachelor of Arts of the University of Oxford.
  • 1658 Locke graduates as a Master of Arts of the University of Oxford.
  • 1660 The House of Stuart is restored to the throne with Charles II, and Locke is elected Lecturer in Greek at Christ Church.
  • 1662 Locke is elected Lecturer in Rhetoric at Christ Church.
  • 1663 Locke is elected Censor of Moral Philosophy at Christ Church.
  • 1665 Plague breaks out in London; Locke is appointed secretary to the diplomatic mission of Sir Walter Vane to Brandenburg.
  • 1666 The Great Fire of London occurs; Locke meets Anthony Ashley Cooper, Chancellor of the Exchequer and later first Earl of Shaftesbury.
  • 1667 Locke takes up residence in Shaftesbury’s household at Exeter House in London; Locke begins to collaborate with the eminent physician, Thomas Sydenham.
  • 1668 Locke oversees an important liver operation on Shaftesbury; Locke is elected a Fellow of the Royal Society; Locke becomes Secretary to the Lords Proprietors of Carolina.
  • 1671 Locke begins work on early drafts of the Essay Concerning Human Understanding.
  • 1673 Locke is appointed Secretary to the Council of Trade; Shaftesbury is dismissed as Lord Chancellor by Charles II.
  • 1675 Locke is awarded the degree of Bachelor of Medicine by the University of Oxford.
  • 1675–9 Locke travels in France.
  • 1679 Shaftesbury briefly returns to public office as Lord President of the Council.
  • 1680 Sir Robert Filmer’s Patriarcha is published posthumously; the Exclusion Bill is rejected by the House of Lords.
  • 1681 Shaftesbury is arrested for high treason and imprisoned in the Tower of London, but is later released.
  • 1682 Shaftesbury flees to exile in the Netherlands.
  • 1683 Shaftesbury dies in the Netherlands; the Rye House plot is discovered; Locke escapes to the Netherlands.
  • 1684 Locke is expelled from his Studentship at Christ Church.
  • 1685 Charles II dies and is followed on the throne by his brother, James II.
  • 1688 James II is removed from the throne and replaced by William of Orange and his wife Mary in the Revolutionary Settlement.
  • 1689 Locke returns to England from the Netherlands; An Essay Concerning Human Understanding, A Letter on Toleration and Two Treatises of Government are published.
  • 1691 Locke moves to Oates in Essex, the house of Sir Francis and Lady Masham.
  • 1693 Some Thoughts Concerning Education is published.
  • 1695 The Reasonableness of Christianity is published.
  • 1696 Locke is appointed a Commissioner of the Board of Trade.
  • 1697 A Letter to the Bishop of Worcester (Edward Stillingfleet) is published.
  • 1700 Locke resigns as a Commissioner of the Board of Trade; the fourth edition of An Essay Concerning Human Understanding appears.
  • 1704 Locke dies at Oates and is buried in the churchyard of High Laver, Essex.